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Manuals, Monographs, & Guides

As part of its educational mission, the Center produces monographs on substantive legal subjects and a variety of manuals and guides for judges and court staff. Topics covered include discrete areas of law, courtroom and case-management procedures, the Federal Rules, and different types of litigation. These publications are authored by Center staff and outside subject-matter experts. See also Reports & Studies.

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International Extradition: A Guide for Judges

This guide provides a brief overview of extradition law, focusing primarily on the extradition of fugitives from the United States. It describes the grounds for extradition, extradition proceedings, legal issues that may emerge, and related case management considerations.

March 31, 2014
Ten Steps to Better Case Management: A Guide for Multidistrict Litigation Transferee Judges, Second Edition
This guide is intended to help transferee judges with their MDL cases. Section 1407 empowers a transferee judge to exercise all the powers of the transferor court, with the exception of actually conducting the trial of the case (except in special circumstances). The purpose of this guide is to introduce briefly some of the “best practices” that transferee judges have developed over the years, focusing on core responsibilities.
January 1, 2014
Deskbook for Chief Judges of U.S. District Courts, Fourth Edition

A detailed reference for chief judges of federal district courts. The Deskbook describes the position of chief judges within the system of federal judicial administration as well as their specific roles and responsibilities with respect to national and regional bodies of judicial administration; other judges, officers, and employees of the district court; various functions of the court; case management; and external groups such as the bar, media, and public.

January 1, 2014
Ten Steps to Better Case Management: A Guide for Multidistrict Litigation Transferee Court Clerks, Second Edition
This guide is intended to help transferee clerks of court successfully manage multidistrict litigation (MDL). It contains recommendations from the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation and suggestions for implementing CM/ECF to improve MDL case management.
January 1, 2014
National Security Case Studies: Special Case-Management Challenges [Superseded]

Cases involving national security often pose unusual and challenging case-management issues for the courts. Evidence or arguments may be classified; witnesses or the jury may require special security measures; attorneys’ contacts with their clients may be diminished; other challenges may present themselves.

June 25, 2013
Benchbook for U.S. District Court Judges, Sixth Edition
The Benchbook is an ongoing compilation of information that federal judges have found useful for immediate bench or chambers reference in civil and criminal proceedings. It contains sections on such topics as assignment of counsel, taking guilty pleas, standard voir dire questions, sentencing, and contempt. The sixth edition, published March 2013, adds new sections on disclosure of exculpatory information under Brady v.
March 1, 2013
Judicial Writing Manual: A Pocket Guide for Judges, Second Edition
The Center has prepared this manual to help judges organize opinions and improve their opinion writing. Prepared with the assistance of judges, law professors, and writers, the manual offers advice on writing tailored to the needs of the federal judiciary.
January 1, 2013
Debates on the Federal Judiciary: A Documentary History, Volume II: 1875–1939
This volume of the documentary history collection introduces readers to public debates on proposals to alter the organization, jurisdiction, and administration of the federal courts, as well as the tenure and authority of federal judges, during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The documents illustrate the contending views of lawyers, judges, legislators, legal scholars, and ordinary citizens on the judiciary’s role in American constitutional government.
January 1, 2013
Debates on the Federal Judiciary: A Documentary History, Volume I: 1787–1875
The first volume of the Documentary History of Debates on the Federal Judiciary traces the long process of defining the judiciary within the relatively brief outline provided by the Constitution.
January 1, 2013
Coordinating Multijurisdiction Litigation: A Pocket Guide for Judges

A joint project by the National Center for State Courts, the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, and the Federal Judicial Center, this pocket guide provides information on the coordination and management of related cases that are pending simultaneously in both state and federal courts.

January 1, 2013